9 Best Paddle Boards for Fishing

Best Paddle Boards for Fishing

Stand Up Paddle-boarding is here to stay.

What started off looking like yet another fitness fad has instead turned into an unstoppable five billion dollar industry worldwide.

SUP’s ability to seamlessly splice itself into other sports like fishing has contributed to the global success and growing obsession with SUP Fishing.

Now that you're looking to take your fishing to the next level, it's time to take a look at your options.

Whether you'll be out in rocky ocean waters, a calm and serene lake bed, or floating down the river, there's a board for everyone and every condition! These are the best stand up paddle boards for fishing that the market has to offer.

Our Favorite Paddle Boards

#1 Best Overall: Atoll Fishing Inflatable SUP
Atoll Fishing SUP
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  • Perfect Setup for Securing a Cooler, Gear, or Kayak Seat.
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  • Machine Laminated Dual Layer PVC, 40% lighter than standard iSUP
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  • Supports up to 350 lbs.
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  • 11’ long x 32” wide x 6” thick / weighs 19 lbs.

#1 Best For Beginners: Ancheer Inflatable
Ancheer Inflatable SUP
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  • Ultra Durable in all environments
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  • Double Layer Military Grade PVC
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  • Supports up to 350 lbs.
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  • 11’ long x 32’ wide' x 6'' thick / weighs 28 lbs.
Atoll Fishing Inflatable SUP

The Atoll Fishing iSUP is our #1 pick for a myriad of reasons! This iSUP is constructed with machine laminated dual layer PVC and is 40% lighter than the other iSUP’s on the market. You get the best of both worlds, assuring maximum durability while maintaining an ultra lightweight!

Aside from keeping the board’s total weight at an astoundingly low 19 lbs, it also leads to an unparalleled gliding experience out on the water for far less effort than competing boards.

Combined with a tri-fin set up, tapered nose, and a detachable, universal 8 in. composite touring fin, this iSUP provides extra stability for both beginners and intermediate paddle-boarders alike. You’ll also notice that the fin set up assisting with improved tracking.

The deck of the Atoll fishing iSUP is covered in an EVA (Ethylene Vinyl Acetate) diamond groove traction pad to prevent you from slipping and to keep your feet as comfortable as possible while you’re out fishing.

The Atoll Fishing iSUP is also outed with a total of 14 D rings spread across the board, making it incredibly convenient for storing anything from coolers for your fish, extra gear, or even a kayak seat cushion.

You’ll notice most iSUP’s include a bundle of starter accessories, however, a lot of them cut corners on some of these accessories. This is NOT the case with the Atoll Fishing iSUP.

Atoll went above and beyond in assuring their accessories were of the highest quality. Included is a 2-way high-pressure hand pump, three piece aluminum alloy paddle, 10-foot leash, maintenance kit, and backpack for carrying that are all superior to their competitors in every way (especially the hand pump!).

Lightweight, durable, and loaded with everything you’d ever need to be ready for any fish that swims your way, the Atoll Fishing Inflatable SUP is hands down our #1 pick!

Pro's

  • Perfectly Balanced Attributes,  Unmatched Gliding Experience, Superior Quality Accessories

Con's

  • Still susceptible to the “springiness” that almost every iSUP endures over a long period of time.

#2 iRocker All-Around Inflatable 11’

iRocker All-Around Inflatable

This iSUP is an absolute tank out on the water! Quad layer PVC protection combined with pressure tested dual fusion heat welded seams puts The iRocker All-Around Inflatable miles above the competition in terms of stability and durability.

The iRocker All-Around iSUP supports a weight limit of up to 435 lbs. iRocker also integrated safety grab handles onto the deck of this boards, creating a safe and easy way for parents to bring their children along for a fishing trip.

What you get in terms of durability, you pay for in speed and tracking, however. This board feels less like an inflatable iSUP and more like a traditional SUP. It’s able to avoid the “springiness” that’s so common with iSUP’s but at the cost of a noticeably slower pursuit.

The three piece paddle included with this board is made of fiberglass instead of aluminum alloy and is lighter as a result. This offsets the speed deficit a little bit, but not enough to properly balance the overall experience.

The iRocker All-Around Inflatable is perfect for those that intend on fishing with the family while also still needing the transportation and storage convenience an iSUP provides.

Pro's

  • Absolute Tank and can take a beating. Unmatched in terms of stability and safety handle is ideal for iSUPpers with children

Con's

  • Slower Tracking

#3 Tower Inflatable 10’4”

Tower Inflatable

You’ll be hard pressed to find a more rigid board than the Tower Inflatable Adventurer! 6 inch thick military-grade PVC material and drop-stitch construction provides extreme durability with this iSUP. 

The Tower Adventurer also keeps up and occasionally outpaces its iSUP competitors in terms of speed or maneuverability for experienced paddleboarders.

Here is where the Adventurer hits a snag, as many beginners struggle to find and keep their balance with these boards. It’s not going to roll over or anything like that, but the board noticeably lacks stability for the inexperienced.

The Tower Adventurer, unfortunately, cuts corners on the provided pump and three piece fiberglass paddle as well. The pump is inferior in every way to its competitors and it will take an extremely restricted budget to not upgrade to an electric pump immediately. The paddle, while only slightly heavier than the average 3 pc fiberglass paddle, has a tendency to sink in most freshwater locations.

For an experienced paddle boarder, The Tower Adventurer will provide an excellent day of fly fishing as it will allow you to keep up with the fastest fish around as well as being able to maneuver around any situation with relative ease. Just be prepared to upgrade your paddle and pump for a more enjoyable and relaxed experience.

Pro's

  • Rigid and Agile

Con's

  • Stability is difficult for beginners and the provided pump is garbage

#1 Best For Beginners - Ancheer Inflatable 10’

Ancheer Inflatable

If you’re an avid fisher but completely new to the sport of Stand Up Paddle-boarding, the Ancheer iSUP is where you want to start.

Ancheer has created the perfect Touring board for beginners. Touring boards are generally more narrow in their shape and have more of a point to their nose. They are designed to glide through the water with less effort and without sacrificing stability.  They are designed primarily to go in a straight line.

The Ancheer Inflatable is constructed with 0.9mm thick double layer military grade PVC and a  countless drop stitch inner structure, ensuring you’ll have all of the durability and stability you’ll need while you find your footing when casting a line.

A tri-fin set up helps boost stability as well.  The center fin of the Ancheer can also be changed out effortlessly if you’re looking to upgrade.

With touring boards the increased speed and stability comes at the expense of weaker maneuverability and the Ancheer iSUP is no exception to this.

However, if you’re a beginner, you may benefit from this limited maneuverability. The board can still be turned relatively smoothly, it just takes a bit of technique and finesse. Learning to master this technique at the start of your SUP fishing journey may benefit you tremendously later on.

If you’re willing to put the time in to learn how to handle a touring board, and won’t lose your patience easily, you’ll be rewarded with a faster iSUP experience than the round nose all-around shapes can offer.

Pro's

  • Superior Speed and Excellent Stability

Con's

  • Learning Curve for Maneuverability, but worth your time to learn

#2 Z-Ray Inflatable 9’9”

Z-Ray Inflatable

The Z-Ray X-Rider is one of the smallest boards on this list. Coming in at 9’9” x 30” wide x 6” thick it weighs only 17 lbs.!

A soft EVA deck top makes this board both family and pet-friendly. Military grade drop stitch construction adds an adequate amount of durability to this iSUP.

It should be noted that the Z-Ray X-Rider has a maximum weight bearing capacity of 265 lbs. For solo fishers, this won’t present much of a problem, but you’ll have to start paying more attention to the weight of your gear if you want to bring the dog or the kids with you.

You’re also looking at a single fin iSUP with the Z-Ray X-Rider. This will leave you with better than average tracking and slightly less stability than some of the other iSUP’s out there.

The Z-Ray X-Rider is ideal for any SUP Fisher looking to intensify their workout. The lack of stability is manageable but requires more effort and attention and this is the perfect board to improve your balance, ability to SUP Fish, and get an epic work out all at once!

Pro's

  • Extremely Lightweight, Better than average tracking

Con's

  • Squirrelly stability that can be mastered after sometime

#3 Isle Paddle SUP 10’5”

Isle Paddle SUP

The Isle Versa SUP is the only Epoxy board on our list. For the SUP Fisher that doesn’t want to deal with the hassle of constantly inflating and deflating boards, the Isle Versa is perfect for a fisher on the go! Just load in and load out, provided you have a vehicle that can do so.

The Isla Versa is slightly smaller and noticeably thinner than most of the other boards we’ve recommended. Weighing an average of 27 lbs. and measuring in at 10’5” long x 32” wide and 4.5” thick.

The ability to load up and load out comes at the cost of storage and transportation. Its nowhere near as convenient in terms of storage compared to an iSUP. You’ll need a truck, large car, or car with roof racks to take this board to and from your local break.

The Isle Versa holds up well throughout an array of conditions. It excels in both flat water and small to medium sized surf and chop.

With an all-around longboard shape and epoxy finish, it’s an ideal board for those looking to fish off their local coastlines.

Epoxy boards have also been shown to be about 5% faster than iSUP’s, so if you’re looking for speed you’re on the right track with the Isle Versa SUP.

However, these boards are not as durable as iSUP’s. While the Isla Versa is constructed with thermal molded technology to improve the durability of its outer shell, it is still much, much more likely to scratch or ding and be in need of repair if it bumps into rocks or any other debris lurking around in the water.

Ultimately this board is ideal for those looking to do some saltwater fishing. For any freshwater scenario be extra careful of your surroundings to avoid any unnecessary damage.

Pro's

  • No hassle of inflating and deflating. Epoxy makes its way through chop and surf much easier than iSUP’s, Faster than iSUP

Con's

  • Easily damaged, Requires significantly more space than iSUP’s to transfer and store.

#4 Aqua Marina Drift 10’10”

Aqua Marina Drift

The Aqua Marina Drift is explicitly designed for SUP Fishing. It includes two built-in rod holders and a removable cooler!

There are two-rod holders on each side of the back of the board. You can fix your rods into the holders and have them ready to go without any need to bungee them over and over. A simple yet incredibly proficient addition for any SUP fisher.

The Drift also includes a removable “kool fishing” cooler which doubles as a seat. The cooler includes the high and comfortable back seat cushion, a bait well for preserving your baits, and storage boxes to stash a meal away in. I mean come on! That’s an excellent feature for the SUP Fisher both new and old alike!

A double-sided rail design outline with fishing in mind by Aqua Marina offers maximum stability for both paddling and fishing.

A soft, anti-slip, diamond EVA pad covers most of the board for added traction and comfort on your feet.

The Aqua Marina Drift is 10’10” long x 38” wide x 6” in thick and weighs ~28 lbs.

This is the perfect SUP Fishing board for either end of the SUP fishing spectrum. If you’re an avid SUPper that hasn’t even started fishing yet but is dying to get into it or the SUPper that only wants to fish, The Aqua Marina Drift is the board you’re looking for!

Pro's

  • Pretty much a boat on the water. Extremely stable and durable with an excellent amount of fishing-specific accessories.

Con's

  • The Drift’s emphasis on fishing restricts and limits this board’s overall performance compared to the other’s on our list. If you’re looking to own a SUP that will allow you to branch into other disciplines of SUPping, the Drift is a little too limited.

#5 Vilano Navigator 10’6”

Vilano Navigator

The Vilano Navigator is a great iSUP for the aspiring SUP fisher

The Navigator is 10’6” long x 31” wide x 6” thick weighing ~24 lbs. with a maximum weight capacity of 250 lbs. The thickness plus high-grade PVC and Korean drop stitch construction contribute to a rigid and durable iSUP.

Unfortunately, the Navigator’s paddle is cheap and poorly made. While you can tweak it a little bit to improve its durability, you’ll most likely want to upgrade your paddle as soon as possible.

Vilano has outfitted the Navigator with a total of 11 D Rings, making storing anything from flip-flops to a cooler a piece of cake. The iSUP is also covered in a diamond groove EVA foam pad helping with comfortable and efficient traction.

The Navigator prefers a large, changeable single fin set up for stability and tracking purposes.

Overall, this is a fairly standard and entry-level iSUP that’s adequate for fishing. What helps it stand out for fishing is its ability to easily store and secure the gear you’ll need all over the board, thanks to the D rings.

Pro's

  • Excellent and Secure Storage Capacity

Con's

  • Paddle is cheaply made and will most likely need to be upgraded

#6 SerneLife 10’5”

SerneLife SUP

SereneLife iSUP is great for beginners or children who have recently outgrown any child size specific paddle boards.

At 10’5” long x 30” wide x and 6” thick you’ll be able to balance and find stability without too much thought. This iSUP weighs a remarkably light 19.5 lbs. and can withstand up to 275 lbs. without sinking.

A tri-fin set up of two side fins and one removable center fin is the preferred set up by SereneLife for this iSUP. Take note that this board has had some complaints about its tracking even with the extra fins. If you decide to go with this board, check to make sure your side fins weren’t bent during shipping, as this is usually the culprit for weaker tracking.

SereneLife offers the most basic PVC construction of all the boards on our list. Keep an eye on your board’s durability over time because it might not hold up as well as some of the more advanced PVC technology that has come out over the last few years.

SereneLife has covered the deck of this board in an incredibly soft and comfortable anti-slip traction pad, making it great for any SUPper who’s really struggling to find their footing out on the water.

Another hiccup is the bungee area at the front of the board. It’s noticeably smaller than most of the other iSUP’s on this list and could present a problem for securing some of the larger fishing coolers. Make sure to double check your dimensions before paddling out for your first fishing session.

Pro's

  • Incredibly Lightweight with Extra Stability and the softest, most comfortable anti-slip pad  on the market

Con's

  • Dated PVC construction and smaller than average bungee area for storage.

How To Get Started Stand Up Paddle Board Fishing

For starters, make sure you know how to swim! It’s easy to get excited and hyped up for your first SUP fishing session, but if you’re not a strong swimmer get a lot of practice in before you even think about paddling out. You should only be worried about your paddle sinking, not YOU!

Once you’re a confident swimmer you’ll need to buy an Inflatable Stand Up Paddle-board or a traditional (“hard”) Stand Up Paddle-board. Now that you’ve read through this list, you should have a pretty clear idea of what board will work best for you but if you’re still struggling, think about and answer these questions.

  • Am I going to be fishing in rocky, shallow, or debris laden waters?
  • Do I need maximum storage and portability?
  • What do I need the most? Stability, Durability, Speed, or Tracking?
  • Am I looking for lightweight or ultra durable?
  • How much deck storage do I need?
  • How long do I plan on being out fishing each session?

After answering these questions, read over our list again and narrow down the board that’s right for you.

Finally, select and buy your board. Now it’s just a matter of grabbing your favorite rod and tackle box and head on down to your local river, lake, or coast!

For a look at some solid, beginner fishing paddle boards, as well as a variety of other high-quality paddle boards, make sure to check out our top paddle boards page.


SUP Fishing Essential

  • Less Gear = Less Weight: This can’t be stressed enough, keep your board light! While there are a ton of great gear options for SUP Fishing, put the time and effort into planning your outing as specifically as possible. Gear adds up fast and will make your day of paddling excruciatingly more difficult if you overload your board.
  • Know your Winds! Check your forecast before paddling out and make sure you have a rough idea of what you’re getting yourself into. You’ll always want to have the wind on your back at the end of your outing, and never at the beginning. Paddling against the wind to get back to land after a full day of exerting yourself doesn’t just suck, it’s dangerous too. If you know you’re in for a windy day bring an anchor with you. You can rig one up with a kettlebell and some fishing line.
  • Keep it Simple! Simplicity is Underrated in all aspects of life, and SUP Fishing is no exception. If it’s easier to get off the board and wade, get off the board and wade. If you’re looking to fish in open waters far from the shoreline, hitch a ride out and back, don’t exhaust yourself before you even start fishing. If you’re sick of paddling and having to bend down to pick up your rod, put a rod holder on your board.


How To Choose The Best Stand Up Paddle Board For Fishing

Design

SUP’s and iSUP’s are based primarily off of two different designs: All - Around and Touring.

All - Around boards typically have a rounded nose and a wider deck, They are extremely basic and designed to provide as much assistance with balance and stability as possible. If you’re looking to strictly SUP Fish, an all-around board is adequate.

Touring boards are more narrow and have a pointed nose. They offer a better gliding experience that requires less effort than all-around boards. However, they are slightly more difficult to maneuver and balance on. Touring boards are ideal for any SUP Fisher that wants to explore other disciplines of SUP as well.


Weight

The weight of the SUP and the maximum weight bearing capacity of the SUP both need to be taken into consideration when looking at weight. 

The weight of the SUP is often an indicator of how much effort will be required from you to gather speed, as well as an indicator for maneuverability and stability in general. A heavier and wider board is usually slower and less responsive than a lightweight and narrow SUP. 

Weight Bearing Capacity is important for the rider and their intentions with the SUP. Anyone looking to bring the dog or the kids as well as an entire deck full of fishing gear is going to need a SUP capable of heavier weight bearing capacity.


Storage

Storage refers to how you will store your SUP when you’re out of the water. Are you looking for a traditional (or “hard”) SUP? Do you have the 10’+ of space required to store and transport your board?  Or are you in need of something more portable like an Inflatable SUP that can be rolled up to about 1/4 of the size? Make sure you’re clear on how much space you need before purchasing your SUP or iSUP.


Features

Features like D Ring Deck Storage, Fin Set Ups, and PVC Construction need to be looked at closely. Fins setups will influence tracking and stability while PVC technology will give you an idea of how durable your SUP will be.  Available deck storage can easily make or break your trip if you over or undershoot it as well, so be extra prudent when selecting the SUP or iSUP that’s right for you.


Comfort

Like most sports, SUP looks easier than it is. You might be someone who picks it up right away, or you might spend your first couple sessions paddling on your knees on the deck of the board. Traction pads are the sole defining comfort factor of SUP’s and iSUP’s.


SUP Vs. Kayak

SUP Fishing has some extremely beneficial advantages to traditionally fishing out of a kayak.

  1. You’ll have access to areas you could never even dream about in a kayak. SUP Fishing will allow you to access some extremely remote areas as well as the tightest nooks and coves. The advantage in comparison to kayak fishing is astronomical!
  2. You’ll have a higher vantage point standing on top of a SUP all day than you will be paddling around in a kayak. This height advantage will allow you to see fish from further away and thus gives another advantage to SUP Fishing vs Kayak Fishing.
  3. iSUPs and SUP’s are way easier to transport. An Inflatable SUP speaks for itself. They’re extremely lightweight and compact, making them superior in terms of transportation in every way. While a traditional SUP comes in around a similar length as a kayak, it’s important to remember that SUP’s are still much lighter in weight! The heaviest board we have on our list is 28 lbs. and can easily be transported by a single person. This is not the case with kayaks.


FAQ

What SUP Fishing Gear Do I Need To Start?

First and foremost, The US Coast Guard requires you wear a life jacket and have a leash. You’ll see a decent amount of people paddling around without these. Your life, your choice, but you’ve been warned here first and you know, it’s pretty sound advice.

There are a couple of different ways to set up your SUP or iSUP as an ideal fishing vessel.

The most common set up is to have a cooler near the back that can double as a seat for when you get tired and a gearbox or insulated dry bag at the front of the board safely secured in the bungee area.

A cooler is essential for your food and drinks. Don’t be stupid! Make sure you bring enough fluids to keep yourself hydrated (especially if you’re going to be drinking) and enough food to keep you fresh and energized all day.

Optional additions that can further improve your fishing expeditions on a SUP are stabilizers, tackle rack, and a board light. None of these are absolutely essential, but if it’s not going to cause you to overweight yourself, they’re worth looking into adding on.


Where Do You Store Your Fish When SUP Fishing?

- The best way to store your fish when SUP fishing is in a quality dry bag. Some dry bags are specifically designed for fish and are commonly referred to as a fish bag. Shocking isn’t it?

- You’ll want to keep your fish as cold as possible if you’re keeping fish.

You can (and should) freeze a large bottle of water and throw it in the bag the night before your trip. This will bring the core temperature of your bag down overnight and prepare your bag for optimal storage conditions. If you have some smaller water or Gatorade bottles make sure you freeze these the night before as well, but leave them in the freezer overnight.

- The next morning, throw a 5-10 pound bag of ice in your dry bag. In addition to the bag of ice, you can line the dry bag with the water / Gatorade bottles from the night before.

- The fish bag can be kept secured at the front of the board or placed back inside a gearbox located in the same area.


Final Thoughts - Which Should You Get?

We started our list off with the Atoll Fishing Inflatable SUP because it earned its spot at the top! The Atoll essentially takes the best feature of almost every board on this list and combines it into one incredible Fishing iSUP!

Sticking to the tried and true preferred dimensions of 11’ long x 32” wide x 6” thick and machine laminated dual layer PVC, you find yourself with a board that’s stable and durable in any conditions.

A maximum weight bearing capacity of 350 lbs. from a board that only weighs 19lbs. Is ridiculous! You can take all the gear you need and throw the kids or the dog on top of the board just for the fun of trying to sink this thing.

The tri-fin set up with the extra large touring fin is perfect for rebalancing the speed and tracking that may have been lost on other boards this size.

And like we mentioned earlier, Atoll did not cut any corners on their accessories. Many of the other boards on our list have some complaints about one or more of their accessories. Whether it’s the paddles, pumps, and/or backpacks, you’ll find disappointment in the other brands SUP packages but not with Atoll.

The Atoll Fishing iSUP Package is exceptional and Atoll have left their competitors far behind in the wake of their superior quality product!

should you buy?